How the movies entertain, teach, simulate real life
LIVE FEED - Bibsy M. Carballo (The Philippine Star) - August 29, 2014 - 12:00am

As far back as we can remember, we have always been a moviegoer. Nothing to us can compare with the experience of rubbing elbows with the students, the fans, the hoi polloi who all apparently share with us this love for watching movies.

Each one has his peculiar reason for watching a certain film. It may star a favorite leading man or woman; it could serve as a way to pass the time while waiting for a friend; it could also be an assignment in school to submit a film review; or it could offer a good place to sleep away from the heat and the noise outside. Best of all, it provides entertainment as well as lessons in life.

Hercules is a Hollywood-type adventure film we had watched for the entertainment it gave and also for the underlying lessons it taught. Popular Hollywood actor Dwayne Johnson plays Hercules, leader of a band of mercenaries out to fulfill the job of training the armies of Thrace to be better prepared to face their many enemies. The hefty reward is their weight in gold for Hercules and his men. In the end, like many movies produced, there is a change of heart where the bida decides to give up his former way of life.

To many viewers, however, the bigger come-on was the special effects that bring them to the time of gods and goddesses and their hierarchy when Zeus is the top god and the mortal Dwayne is said to be his son. USA Today stated that “Putting Greek gods on the big screen can be a Herculean task. You’ve got the funny getups, stilted language and the whole immortal thing that makes suspense nearly impossible.” Dwayne and director Brett Ratner are credited for delivering the impossible. Colin of the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote that “Dwayne Johnson wears the title role like a custom tailored lion skin.

Meantime, we are so happy to find Brillante Mendoza as busy as ever in discovering new material to direct and offer to the populace. While he used to shoot his films almost exclusively utilizing his hometown of Pampanga as venue, Brillante ventured outside out of his comfort zone to Mindanao in 2012 where he shot Captive with Isabelle Huppert and Thy Womb with Nora Aunor. Captive was shown in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival while Thy Womb at the Venice International Film Festival.

Brillante has now busied himself with producing a four-part documentary titled Small Acts, Big Stories, telling inspirational stories of ordinary Pinoys doing extraordinary acts. “These are real stories,” Brillante shared, “but they could change the way we think and hopefully, the way we live.” Launched last June 2012 as Solar News Channel’s campaign to awaken the spirit of nationalism in every Filipino, they featured stories of four individuals that inspired direk Brillante to turn them into a documentary.

Joon Baltazar is a person with a disability and a member of the Life Heaven Foundation which helps educate people with disabilities. Lords Hernandez is a fireman/fire investigator who focuses on saving animals endangered during fires and other hazardous situations. Crisanto Gumilac brings art within reach of the masses. Kalesa driver Micheal Quiamba gives free rides to kids and seniors. Small Acts, Big Stories airs Sunday nights at 9 on the Solar News Channel.

(E-mail your comments to or text them to 0917-8991835.)

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